May 14, 2011

The Lady in Black, pt. 4

I thought we'd venture away from fiction a little bit to analyse these symbols we've been discussing in more immediate incarnations, name in religion. We should start out with the obvious, that is, that there is Sun-worship and Moon-worship, often together, though not necessarily so. Solar deities abound, from Horus in Egypt to Helios/Apollo in Greece to Jesus, well, everywhere. Although it is not always the case, usually the Solar deity is male (exceptions include, for example, Sekhmet in Egypt. Likewise, the Moon deity is usually a female figure, although not necessarily always. In either case, they often appear together, joined together in the crescent moon-star/sun combination, as we see in Islam or again in Egpyt.
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It would take far too long, however, to list all these connections, and certainly it's been done before. I thought it would be interesting, however, to take a look at some of the figures we see. If we look at Catholicism, there are two main types of servants of the Church: priests and nuns. And what do they usually wear?

Now, I know that there are priests who wear black, but it seems to me those guys are mostly from small parishes and work more with individuals than with the masses per se. If we look at large Catholic masses, the priest usually wears while. We thus have the figures of the White Wizard and the Lady in Black yet again (it's also interesting to note that it is very common for Islamic men to wear white and for women to don black burqas...). And what are their roles? Well, the priest is there to lead the worshippers and enlighten them; the nun, on the other hand, is secluded and mostly prays on behalf of others. Thus, we have the outward (white sun) and inward (black moon) devotees of God...interesting.

On the flip side of the God figure we have the Satan figure, which can also be divided into male and female aspects, the incubus and the succubus. They are creatures who have sex with humans of the opposite sex, usually while they are asleep or while the others in the house are asleep. Note that these are Lunar characteristics (it is important to think of this in a two-dimensional way, as I mentioned in the previous post: the dichotomy goes up and down AND left and right) which we might associate to Satan himself. The succubus is related to the Whore of Babylon figure while the incubus is closer to the figure of Satan, that is, the fallen angel.

What's the point here? Well, the way I see it, these, Sun and Moon, YHWH and Satan, woman and man, are all simply manifestations of an original Singular Consciousness, manifesting itself as dualisms which are in balance. That is to say, the concept of Yahweh would not exist without the concept of a satanic figure. The notion of good is meaningless without the notion of evil. They are in eternal balance. Likewise, we must recognise that these elements exist in all of us, in the sense that no one is purely good or purely evil (insofar as we can define those concepts, which is mighty hard).

In not accepting that there is a Satan inside all of us, just as there is a Yahweh, in believing that humanity is made of pure goodness and justice, we will just end up projecting this darker side of ourselves onto others. This is probably one of the most important reasons why injustice and greed seem to run rampant in society: we are so afraid to acknowledge our own dark side that we need others to express this side so that we may feel balanced. The average man is not inclined to take action against evil because he feels much better purging those sentiments in anyone other than himself.

A classic manifestation of this appears in the puritanical condemnation of sexuality. By repressing one's (entirely natural) sexual feelings, one ends up either covertly manifesting these feelings (in the form of swing clubs, strip clubs, pedophile priests, and so on) or overtly condemning them (i.e.: abstinence programs, the fight against gay marriage, etc...). This creates a fundamental imbalance than ends up manifesting in entirely destructive ways. By ignoring our dark, sexual, Moon sides, we end up transferring all the energy towards one edge or the other; we either radiate our Sun excessively or enclose our Moon, and do not allow it to express itself.

This whole idea is a central tenet in astrology, of course. The whole idea is to find a balance within ourselves. If we do not please our Venus (female energy of attraction) she will become angry, and this is what's happening to society as a whole. Just look at what happens to these energies when they are not manifested: pedophiles are denied their sexuality and end up molesting children; teenagers are denied their sexuality and end up pregnant at 16 (in fact, church youth camps are literal breeding grounds for teenagers).

The same happens, to give another example, to a denied Neptune. In not acknowledging that drugs are an important element in society, in banning them, their expressions end up distorted and Neptune becomes angry. We fail to recognise this in outlawing drugs, that is, we are denying a part of ourselves when we believe that drugs have no place in human society. After countless years of the War of Drugs and of drugs being illegal everywhere, has drug use around the world fallen by even a bit? Of course not. We have, though, many more overdoses and drug-addled rage incidents than we ought to. That is not to say that everyone has a need for drugs, on the contrary. But to deny those who do this need only leads to a destructive expression of their desire.

So if religions, at their outset, recognised that our world functions as a dual system, in which both Sun and Moon need expression, why can we not? It is time to see that God is not Yahweh nor Satan, but BOTH, and if either is denied we only end up getting the extremes, which are damaging to all. In the Odyssey, Poseidon becomes angry that he was not thanked after helping the Greeks win the Trojan War, and thus diverts Ulysses' journey so that it takes him much longer to finally get home. If a God (within or without) is not acknowledged, it will lash out in fury. The Greeks seemed to know this; how can we consider ourselves more advanced if, in spite of all our technological innovation, we are still entirely unable to deal with our inner selves? The Gods are not out there, they are inside us, whether we like it or not. Why do the incubi and succubi attack while their victims are asleep? Well, when they are asleep they cannot rationalise their sexual desires, and are thus much more open to them, practically inviting the demon to possess them. Perhaps it would be wise to think of mythological stories not as explaining the outside world, but rather the inner.

May 11, 2011

The Lady in Black, pt. 3

Following on the ideas of the previous post...

The four figures mentioned before can be organised a square, or rather a cross inside a square. One line of the cross would represent the male/female dichotomy, the other the sun/moon dichotomy. The four archetypes are then the four corners of the square: the female moon is the Lady in Black, the female sun the Lady in Red (the colours are no accident), the male sun the White Wizard and the male moon the Black Warlock, or Dark Magician.

Remember the previous picture of Arwen, the Lady in Black in the Lord of the Rings series? She appears at a river, which is interesting given that water represents emotions and the subconscious, as does the Moon. I think it might also be appropriate to consider One Ring as the representation of the Lady in Red. It is temptation, selfish desire and greed embodied in Bilbo then in Frodo. It's hard to resist the seductress. A separate post would be required for a more detailed reading of the series, though.

From fire it was created, in fire it is destroyed...

The Lady in Red also famously appears in the Matrix. The Lady in Red, or the Lady in the Red Dress in this case, is the temptation to remain in the Matrix, to give in to lust and greed, and all the cardinal sins, really. It is the desire to remain materialistic, to give in to your emotions rather than understand them. Agent Smith is the Dark Magician, using essentially what is magic to replicate himself. It is the desire for ultimate power and control, regardless of the consequences. The other duo is easily Neo (WW) and Trinity (LB), although they also present, along with Morpheus, an interesting Father-Mother-Son triad (like Mars-Venus-Mercury, God-Holy Spirit-Jesus, Osiris-Isis-Horus, and so on), but that's also for another post.

This archetypal analysis is very simple, of course. The point is mostly to show the power of symbols, and how they show that many things are actually reduced to a few basic components. This is the same with astrology, tarot, and so on (the credible ones, of course). There's a level deep down, though, where all those become one and the same. Is it possible to even to glimpse that far down (or up, depending on your point of view)? Well, not by purely rational means, certainly.

Coming back to the relation between water and emotions/the subconscious. We call on our good friends Uriah Heep again to enlighten us:

It's interesting that I (and most of you as well) have been remembering my dreams more often lately, and often water is an important leitmotif. Friends have been telling me this as well. This should not be surprising, however, because Neptune is now back home in Pisces...prepare for more water during your slumber. But I digress.

If we think of the figures' connections to animals, it follows naturally the White Wizard is connected to the eagle, as show Gandalf and Jake Sully in Avatar. Conversely, the Dark Magician is associated to the snake, such as Voldemort in the Harry Potter series. Reminds me of the Medusa/Pegasus story...the Dark Magician also has Raven connections, and White Wizard to the Lion (cf. Aslan, astrology), while I'm inclined to think of the cat for the Lady in Black (Hermione and McGonagall in Harry Potter).

Well, I feel like if I keep going so succinctly this is going to get confusing. Then again, more figures are coming soon...